Anxiety Attacks + ER Visits + IKEA = Worst Weekend Ever

This weekend was probably one of the worst in my recent memory/ever.

It all started out in promising fashion. On Friday night Fern was spending the night at the grandparent’s house and we headed to a Christmas party that some friends were hosting. Neither of us were feeling particularly great, but these are good friends and we wanted to make an appearance. All was OK for the first 45 minutes. We only knew like two people out of the group of 25-30’ish people which meant we had people to chat with for a bit, but after those first conversations died down, I started feeling pretty awkward and long story short had a bit of an anxiety attack.

Most people would assume that I’m an extrovert. Every personality test I’ve ever taken will tell you I am. But those personality tests aren’t totally true. The Meyers Briggs personality tests says that I am an ENFJ (E is for Extrovert), but I always land on the extroverted side by a narrow margin. I’m more of an introverted extrovert. I’m not “shy” and I don’t have a ton of trouble having conversations with people I don’t know, but only when it’s in small groups. The larger the group, the more anxious I get and the more exhausting it is. I definitely do not feel energized by being surrounded by others in social situations. After social situations I often need to be by myself to get “recharged”.

Friday night’s situation was a mixture of a bit of a rough day on Friday + pregnancy hormones + me just feeling social awkward in large groups. We ended up leaving with me in tears because I was feeling so incredibly anxious over the situation. It was pretty intense and as much as large groups aren’t my thing, I’ve never had an experience like that. Hopefully it was just a result of the the combination of factors.

The only plus of the night was the cute outfit I wore (part of my 12 Days of Target Style) and the fact that we got a pizza takeout and a Redbox afterward.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

Then came Saturday, which was was probably the scariest day I’ve had as a parent so far.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

Craig was doing loud construction projects at home, so we went over to my parent’s house for Fern’s nap. She was totally fine when she went down for her nap, but when she woke up around 5:00 she was coughing with a crazy bark and wheezing when she breathed. I was worried that maybe she had smuggled something small into her Pack ‘n Play at nap time and maybe it was lodged in her airway. It seemed way too sudden to be an illness, since like I said…she was totally fine when I put her down.

After this had gone on for about 15 minutes, my parents suggested that I take her to the urgent care nearby. While I was considering it, she had an intense coughing and wheezing spell where she couldn’t catch her breath. I learned later that the sharp wheezing sounds are called stridor breaths as she was trying to squeeze breaths in through her swollen airway. She was coughing so hard she vomited all over.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

It was really scary and my dad called 9-1-1. By the time the EMTs arrived she had stabilized a bit. They said it sounded like croup and told us we should go to the urgent care where they could give her some things to help her breathing. Once we were there she was given a steroid treatment, but since it wouldn’t kick in for another few hours and she still sounded bad, they sent us to the ER to get an epinephrine breathing treatment that would help more immediately. I guess we get croup as adults all the time, but we don’t notice is as more than just a sore throat, but with little ones, their airway is so small that any swelling of their throat can impede their breathing really quickly.

Thankfully the breathing treatment helped a ton, but the whole experience was still really scary, especially since Fern had never been sick before. It was so hard to see her in pain and not be able to do anything about it. She just kept saying, “Hold you Mama! Hold you!” over and over. And when I asked her how she was feeling she said, “I feel canky (AKA cranky) Mama.” And after the really big coughing spells she would say, “I’m OK Mama.” through her tears. It broke my heart.

This is a photo of her on Sunday when she was being spoiled by both of us. Craig made her hot chocolate and we watched all of her favorite shows and went in the “hot swimmin’ pool” (AKA the hot tub). I’m pretty sure wants to be sick more often now.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

As if there couldn’t be more craziness in one weekend, we ended up having an unexpected kitchen renovation come up.

Craig is in the process of replacing all the floors in our house with pretty new wood floors. So far our living and dining room are complete, but we’d been postponing the kitchen for obvious reasons. Finally he decided to take the plunge this weekend. He was hoping to have all the floor ripped out and the kitchen re-floored by the time Monday rolled around, but such was not the case.

He realized after ripping out all the floors that it would be hard to line up the wood floor boards properly with the old kitchen cabinets in place. We had planned to change them out down the road, but not right this moment. Well, turns out we are in fact re-doing the entire kitchen right this moment. It was easier (I use that term lightly, because it’s a ton more work for Craig) to just rip out the cabinets and the floor at the same time.

This meant a Sunday trip to IKEA to choose all our cabinets and countertops. IKEA on a Sunday after the crappy weekend we had in the midst of a kitchen filled with rubble and a house full of dust? Yeah…not exactly my idea of a good time.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

But, we survived and made it through without any fights and stayed married, which I think is pretty impressive. I had a friend say that she thinks premarital counseling should take place in IKEA…maybe it could be a test of true devotion. Can you get out of IKEA without killing each other? Great! You’re totally ready for marriage! Sheesh! There’s just something about that place that’s like the Bermuda Triangle and you lose track of time and space and get sucked into awful fights.

I rewarded myself for surviving the trip (and the weekend) with an IKEA soft-serve.

When in Rome.

Worst Weekend Ever // The Little Things We Do

And there you have it. The worst weekend ever.

I sincerely hope yours was much (MUCH) better friends.


Love and better weekends ahead,



  1. My gosh, that sounds so terrible and stressful. I hope the start of your week has gone well and that Fern is feeling better.

  2. Definitely not one of the fun firsts with a little one. I’ve barely survived teething, I don’t know what I will do if Elise actually gets sick. Hope Fern is feeling better…and you, too!

    • Stacie – Hopefully you won’t have to find out for a long while. Fern is almost two and this is the first time. And seriously…teething can be pretty bad, so you’ve already got some experience under your belt :).

  3. Booo. So sorry, friend. Hopefully this week will be better. Then, Christmas!


  4. Oh Lauren! That sounds like the worst weekend. So glad Fern is on the mend now. Hugs, xxx.

  5. Bad things come in three! You’re off the hook for awhile!
    And yes, if marriage can survive pregnancy AND IKEA at the same time? That’s a keeper.
    (Says the woman who almost killed her husband while pregnant with an allen wrench.)

  6. The IKEA thing? YES! We fight EVERY TIME we go to Ikea. About stupid things. Like bookcases. And bamboo plants.

    Also, we just finished renovating our kitchen. And moving. SO STRESSFUL! Good luck! Stay calm, and remember that redoing a kitchen is supposed to be fun. And when it’s done, you will love it!

  7. Hi Lauren,
    I am so happy Fern is feeling better. My daughter was born the day before Fern. She had croup too recently. Fortunately, I heard her cough once and knew something wasn’t right and was able to get her into the doctor. I am so sorry that she got so bad, so fast. It is totally scary. Zoey got a stomach bug last night. So far, worst night EVER as a parent. Seriously, she did the same like Fern “I’m OK” and every time she got sick, she said “all done” It was sad. So happy Fern seems to be feeling better! I am due January 18th with another girl, AH! Close birthdays, all these girls. Good luck this time around. You look awesome! Hope you have a Happy Holiday!! x

    • Wow! You’re going to be having a busy January mama! So sorry your little Zoey is feeling sick. Poor girl. Thank you for your sweet words and happy birthday and “birth”days coming up! So exciting!

  8. SOOO glad you and the little one are doing better! Still, what a sucky weekend for you. 🙁 Hope the upcoming one is tons better.

    And huge props for getting out of IKEA alive and still married! It reminds me of this 30 Rock episode:

    Hope it gives you a little laugh. Sounds like you need one!

  9. Hopefully Fern is on the mend! We’ve had two bouts of croup and stidor with Camden and I know how scary that can be – especially that sound of them gasping for air. Not ok!!! Thankful for modern medicine and that she was able to get the right medical attention.

  10. So sorry about your Lil Fern getting sick! We just had our first run in w Luna getting sick as well. I think I cried just as much as she did!! My hubby who always looks on the bright side kept saying this will strengthen her immune system…blah blah blah!! Haha! Gotta love him! As for Ikea, it’s so crazy that I always felt that way about it , but never realized others feel that it’s crazy too! Isn’t it amazing how when things are crazy busy it’s when we decide to do even more! We also just hit up Ikea (because I was hosting a play date–which prompted the Ikea trip)—we ended up making a bench for her play area and added new rugs. Ikea=exhaustion!! As for the anxiety, let’s just say I always get the “I”– so I always vote for small social settings!! So long story short, your are not alone!! Even if you wanna be alone!! Haha! Xo

  11. Oh my, that’s the hard part of parenting, right? Having to be the one who remains calm in heartbreaking situations! It’s amazing how much we learn every year with kids.
    On the anxiety attack issue, I’ve had a few mild anxiety attacks when I was feeling a bit vulnerable in life, about 5 years ago, and once that moment passed they didn’t happen again. But in your case I think the hormones play a huge role! 🙂
    Loving your Target outfit posts on Instagram!

  12. We just stopped going to Ikea together unless we REALLY have to. Lol. Unfortunately kitchen cupboard are a necessary together trip. But the good news is that your kitchen will look amazing when it is done. Sorry you had such a crappy weekend.

  13. Sheesh! That’s rough. I hope next weekend is a better one for you!

  14. After a weekend like this, you can definitely say you’re a survivor. Reading about poor little Fern’s episode broke my heart for all of you! I’m so glad you’re ALL feeling better after that rough weekend. 🙂

  15. So glad to hear I’m not the only mama who called 9-1-1 for croup! I thought the same as you, that something was in his airway and he was going to choke if I tried to put him in his car seat. I hope Fern (and you) are feeling much better!

  16. What a mess of a weekend! Hope Fern is feeling better. I can’t imagine how scary it must have been to see her so sick. Sending prayers your way!

  17. Oh, that is so hard! My Evelyn ended up in the ER just shy of two (she ate poisonous berries), and it was the worst day ever. So scary. Glad Fern is on the mend!

    (PS I love your blog. I’m also a Portland mama, and I’ve been enjoying reading about your adventures in our little city for a while. Thanks for sharing with us!)

  18. Omg, I’m an ESFJ, and I experience the exact same thing as you. The larger the group, the higher the anxiety, the more exhausting I find it and the more time I need to “recharge” – yet everything always points to me being an extrovert. And nobody ever believes me when I say I get nervous or anxious in crowds. And hahaha about IKEA – I always say IKEA and decorating a Christmas tree are true tests of devotion. If you can get through that, you can get through anything. Also, I didn’t realize you were pregnant again; I must have missed a post or something. Congratulations!!


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